Thursday, June 26, 2014

June peak month of 2014 IA pheasant hatchery

From Brett Reece Iowa Conservation Officer

June is here and the peak of Iowa's pheasant hatch is at hand, so what can Iowa's upland hunters expect this coming season? Todd Bogenschutz, DNR upland wildlife biologist, says don't expect a lot of changes in Iowa's pheasants numbers this year. We make pre-season pheasant predictions each year based on winter and spring weather conditions as reported by NOAA. The predictions are based on a weather model using 50 years of DNR roadside count and weather data. The model is correct about 8 years out of 10. Last year our weather model predicted a decrease in pheasant numbers, said Bogenschutz, and our roadside counts confirmed this showing a -18% decrease statewide in pheasant numbers.

Our pheasant population typically shows increases following mild winters (Dec.-March) with springs (April-May) that are dryer and warmer than normal. This past winter was unseasonably cold. Statewide snowfall from December through February averaged 36 inches. Pheasant populations have never increased following winters with 31 or more inches of snowfall, said Bogenschutz. Many bird enthusiasts were hoping a warm, dry spring would offset the cold and snowy winter. Unfortunately this spring nesting season (April/May) was unseasonably cool and wetter than normal. Statewide nesting season rainfall was 8 inches, while April/May temperatures averaged 2F degrees cooler than normal (Table 1). The state climatologist noted that April 2014 was the 10th consecutive wetter than normal April for Iowa. This year unfortunately the model is predicting no change or decline in bird numbers, said Bogenschutz.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

NY Pheasant Program on schedule for successful year

By Chris Potter

After a handful of years that have seen thousands of birds successfully raised to adulthood, the delivery of another 800 chicks this week was just another day at the office for the Allegany County Pheasant Program.

The state Department of Conservation (DEC) provided the birds through its Day-Old Pheasant Chick Program, the second such delivery of 2014. The first batch has already moved outside, making way for the newcomers.

“The initial group is six, seven weeks old,”?said Pheasant Program member John Tucker. “We’ve got the blinders on them. This is our second year with the blinders, which seems to be working out pretty good. It’s helping to keep the birds from pecking each other.

“We got a couple hundred extra with the second batch. We were only asking for two batches of 600, and we’ve got a little over 1,400 now. It’s about the same now that we had last year.”

Founded in 2007, the Allegany County Pheasant Program is a non-profit organization that has been raising pheasants from day-old chicks to adulthood since 2008.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Pheasant revival plan faces long odds in Nevada

Reno Gazette Journal

Now Ricketts, and a few others, are seeking to make the sport more popular in Northern Nevada, a place where pheasants are few and far between.

It was a tough winter for Wisconsin's pheasants

The state has two ring-necked pheasant populations that concern the Department of Natural Resources game bird biologists: wild pheasants and ...

SD Fewer hunters kill fewer pheasants but not as bad as projected

SYLVAN LAKE – The 2013 pheasant hunting season last fall held true to the projection that bird numbers would be down, but the results didn't turn out ...

SD pheasant harvest in 2013 not as bad as predicted

Rapid City Journal

The 2013 pheasant hunting season held true to the projection that bird numbers would be down, but the results didn't turn out nearly as bad as the ...

South Dakota officials say geese up, deer and pheasant down for approaching hunting seasons

The Tribune

PIERRE, South Dakota — The South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Commission has approved new land acquisition and discussed other steps to ...

KS Drought will affect spring pheasant numbers

Late winter snow and cold, plus the on-going drought, could again hamper pheasant reproduction this spring across central and western Kansas.

Kansas looks to buy land to increase public pheasant hunting opportunities

hays Post

The land would be purchased with a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grant that is funded through Pheasants Forever and the National Wild Turkey ...

PA Pheasant recovery shows slow growth in region's 2 zones

Republican & Herald

DOYLE DIETZ/SPECIAL PHOTO Pennsylvania Game Commission wild pheasant biologist Colleen DeLong provided an update on the region's two ...

New program could boost IA pheasant totals

The Gazette: Eastern Iowa Breaking News and Headlines

A new upland conservation program could put an additional 100,000 rooster pheasants per year into Iowa fields. “The program has been designed ...

Harsh winter fails to harm Lenawee County’s pheasant population

The Daily Telegram

A three-week annual survey of crowing roosters was completed May 20, Tison said, and it appears pheasant numbers in the county have changed ...

Pheasants Forever chapters help create new 160-acre GPA in South Dakota

Tri-State Neighbor

Brookings, S.D. – June 2, 2014 – South Dakota pheasant hunters will have the new 160-acre Gideon Game Production Area (GPA) to explore in ...

Iowa's 50K-acre pheasant recovery program aims to create upland habitat

Des Moines, Iowa – June 17, 2014 – There is a new upland conservation program to help boost Iowa’s pheasant population. Beginning immediately, landowners can enroll in the Iowa Pheasant Recovery - State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE). Part of the federal Conservation Reserve Program, 50,000 acres have been allocated for enrollment on a first-come, first-serve basis. Pheasants Forever’s eight Farm Bill Biologists in Iowa are helping landowners with enrollment and questions.

A continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) practice, the Iowa Pheasant Recovery SAFE is designed to help increase populations of ring-necked pheasants and other grassland wildlife species. Once the acres are fully enrolled and established, there is the potential for the newly-created upland habitat to produce more than 100,000 additional roosters annually for hunters. And all Iowa citizens will benefit from the water quality improvements and soil erosion reductions that are associated with grassland conservation. There are about 4,100 acres currently enrolled in the program, leaving more than 45,000 available to landowners.

“We’ve heard from landowners who want to return pheasants to their property, and this is the program that’s specifically designed to do it,” says Jared Wiklund, Pheasants Forever’s Regional Representative in southern Iowa, “The Iowa Pheasant Recovery SAFE is open to landowners in most Iowa counties, and our team of Farm Bill Biologists is eager to work with farmers and ranchers to add upland habitat while helping improve their business operations.” Enrollment includes a sign-up bonus payment of $100 per acre. Find a Farm Bill Biologist.

Dakotas officials remind ditch mowers to wait until July and allow pheasant broods to mature

By NORA HERTEL and KEVIN BURBACH  Associated Press

PIERRE, South Dakota — South and North Dakota officials are reminding residents not to mow in some medians and highway ditches until mid-July to protect the pheasant population.

Mowers are asked to wait until July 10 in South Dakota and July 15 in North Dakota, due to the later growing season.

The matter was discussed by the South Dakota governor's pheasant habitat work group this month. The panel was established because the state bird is threated with habitat loss.

Pheasant hunters spent an estimated $172.5 million in South Dakota in 2012, according to national data cited by state officials.

Tony Leif, director of the South Dakota Division of Wildlife, said roadside ditches provide nesting cover for the animals. Early mowing puts young broods at risk.

This time of year hens nest and hatch broods, which are vulnerable to mowing equipment because of limited mobility. The birds tend to hide when threatened, rather than take flight.

State research indicates hay mowing equipment is responsible for a significant number of pheasant deaths in June and July.

Aaron Robinson, upland game biologist in North Dakota's Wildlife Division said a declining pheasant population is a problem in North Dakota as well, where the birds are nesting now. He said they likely have had to nest a second time, because of the cold, wet weather.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Nebraska Landowner tour to look at pheasant habitats - North Platte - July 27th 2014

A landowner workshop and tour will be held in North Platte from noon to 4 p.m. on Friday, July 27 at UNL Extension Building in the auditorium of the West Central Research and Extension Center on W. State Farm Road.

The meeting is open to the public and will be hosted by environmental and government agencies.

“I’m often asked ‘Where are all the pheasants?’ and answering that question is more complex that people realize,” said Chad Christiansen, PF Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist. “This event is focused around answering that question and looking at ways to manage pheasants in an agriculture based landscape.”  
The hosts are Pheasants Forever, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Nebraska Environmental Trust, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Twin Platte NRD. 

The informational tour will look at the changing landscape, pheasant management strategies, and programs and practices available to landowners that benefit many species of wildlife. 

Biologists will be on hand to go over programs in detail and discuss ways other landowners can be involved. 

Landowners in western Nebraska, especially in Lincoln, Keith, and Logan counties, are encouraged to attend.  

Programs that can be used for all types of wildlife and grassland management include the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP), Continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CCRP), and Corners for Wildlife Program (CFW), which are voluntary programs offering landowners the opportunity to protect, restore, and enhance soil, water, and wildlife, organizers say.

Landowners will have the opportunity to establish long-term conservation and wildlife practices by providing cost-share reimbursement and/or rental payments on both grassland and cropland.

“This tour will help landowners see the struggles we face in managing upland game and see firsthand what the programs can offer and how they may work on their property.  By offering landowners the opportunity to learn about the many options and programs in one location and setting, this tour hopes to make this an easier process for landowners to consider.”

The first part of the session is in the classroom during lunch and then the group will head out in the field where various habitat programs have been implemented. 

Lunch is free and interested participants are asked to RSVP for a lunch count to Chad at (308) 530-2377.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

2014 Iowa Pheasants Faced Tough Winter, Wet Spring

Iowa’s unseasonably cold and snowy winter and wet spring is not likely to boost its pheasant population in 2014.

Pheasants typically show population increases following mild winters with spring that are warmer and dryer than normal. Based on that weather model, the western third of Iowa has the best chance to see an uptick in pheasants due to below average snowfall and less than eight inches of spring rain.

The weather model predicts the rest of the state to see either no population increase or fewer birds than last year. The nesting forecast will be updated by the August roadside survey, which is the best gauge of what pheasant hunters can expect to find in the fall.

Todd Bogenschutz, upland wildlife biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, said while the weather is not what upland bird hunters had hoped for, there is some progress on pheasant habitat. Landowners began enrolling in continuous CRP on Monday.

“This is great news for Iowa’s new pheasant recovery continuous CRP practice designed specifically to help recover pheasant numbers,” Bogenschutz said. Iowa has 45,000 acres available on a first come, first served basis.

“There will not be a general CRP signup this year so this is an option that landowners with expiring general CRP should consider,” he said.

Information on Iowa’s pheasant recovery continuous CRP is available online at

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Kansas Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever summer workshop, “Quality Deer Management in the 21st Century Benefits Upland Bird Management 6/24/14 Seneca KS

June 24th — Kansas Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever summer workshop, “Quality Deer Management in the 21st Century Benefits Upland Bird Management (third in the series), 6 p.m., Seneca Library. Zac Eddy (620) 338-7132 or

Kansas Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever summer workshop, “Cover Crops Roundtable and Tour,” June 24th Oberlin KS

June 24th — Kansas Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever summer workshop, “Cover Crops Roundtable and Tour,” 9 a.m., The Gateway in Oberlin. Zac Eddy (620) 338-7132 or

Kansas Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever summer workshop, “Brood Rearing Habitat Tour” Centralia KS 6/19/14

June 19 — Kansas Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever summer workshop, “Brood Rearing Habitat Tour,” 6:30 p.m., 1152 G Road in Centralia. Zac Eddy (620) 338-7132 or

Kansas Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever summer workshop - Westmoreland KS 6/21/14

June 21
Kansas Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever summer workshop, “Quail Habitat Tour,” 10 a.m., corner of Brush Creek Road and Forrester Road, south of Westmoreland on Highway 99. Zac Eddy (620) 338-7132 or